Unexpected fluctuation in 2009 carmaker market share

Dec 29, 2009

With 2009’s economic tsunami thankfully coming to an end, and hopes rising for 2010 as most leading economic indicators show improvements and consumers appear more confident in their spending, the sales of light trucks and vehicles for 2010 is expected to increase at around 11% above the dismal 2009.

Edmunds.com noted in a late-December 2009 roundup and 2010 forecast several items. One, of interest to restylers, is how the automaker market share fluctuated unexpectedly during the year, which brought some brands success, others disappointment.

“The market’s instability allowed for some unique opportunities that benefited well-positioned automakers,” said Edmunds.com’s senior analyst, Michelle Krebs.

Subaru grew its market share 49.2% from 1.4% in 2008 to 2.1% in 2009, mostly due to sales of the redesigned Forester.

Hyundai’s average market share climbed 40.4% from 5.2% to 7.3%, due to the innovative Hyundai Assurance program and the high profile it brought to the company’s value-oriented products that resonated in the recession.

Volkswagen’s market share rose 23.3%, from 2008’s 1.7% to 2009’s 2.1%, as the redesigned Volkswagen Jetta TDI had consumers lined up at dealership showrooms.

Four automakers lost more than 10% market share in a year-over-year comparison, including both domestic automakers that filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Chrysler’s market share was down 18.7% in 2009 compared to 2008; General Motors’ was down 10.6% in 2009 compared to 2008; Mitsubishi’s share was down 29.7% in 2009 compared to 2008; and Suzuki’s market share was down 40.5% in 2009 compared to 2008.